Un delito sísmico

NUEVA YORK – Pocas personas fuera de Italia saben que seis sismólogos y un funcionario público están siendo enjuiciados en la pequeña ciudad de L’Aquila. Sin embargo, la cuestión tiene implicaciones para los científicos, ingenieros, administradores y sistemas jurídicos de mucho más allá de las fronteras italianas.

Los terremotos de 1461 y 1703 destruyeron en gran parte L’Aquila. La ciudad fue reconstruida y su población creció a más de 73,000 habitantes, y permaneció estable durante más de 300 años –hasta octubre de 2008 cuando empezaron de nuevo los temblores. Del primero de enero al 5 de abril de 2009, se informó que hubo 304 temblores más.

La comisión nacional italiana para la predicción y prevención de riesgos mayores, en la que participaban los siete individuos que ahora están en juicio, se reunió en L’Aquila durante una hora el 31 de marzo de 2009, para evaluar el enjambre sísmico. Según consta en las minutas, a Enzo Boschi, presidente del Instituto Nacional de Geofísica y Vulcanología, se le preguntó si había precursores de un terremoto como el de 1703. Su respuesta fue la siguiente: “Es improbable que haya un terremoto como el 1703 en el corto plazo, pero no se puede excluir del todo la posibilidad.”

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